By Aaron Hyman of Backwoods Log Homes
Reprinted from Spring 2012 Newsletter
From September to November, 2011 my crew and I built a log shell at my log yard in Western Wisconsin. We then shipped the log shell out to Northern Maine and spent 3 weeks on site preparing the site and re-erecting the log shell.
This project was unique for 2 reasons: (1) Location. The log shell was built in Wisconsin and shipped to Northern Maine which is a 35 hour drive one way. (2) Project Coordination. I was contracted by a kit home builder who is marketing full scribe log homes on his website. He made the initial contact with the home owner and was considered the project coordinator. For this project, I was in charge of ordering logs, building the full scribe log shell, shipping the house to Northern Maine and re-erecting it.
Throughout the project, my only contact for change orders or modifications to the building was the kit home builder. This aspect of the project made communication challenging. It was not until the end of the project that I started to have direct contact with the architect and homeowner. At this point, the communication channels opened up and it was easier to move forward with the building.
During the middle to end of building the log shell at my log yard in Wisconsin, the home owner flew out to see the house. This was the first time I had met the homeowner. At this time, I found out that the other builder had not told the homeowner what the arrangement was for building. He was very surprised to find out that the company he “hired” to do the log building was not actually the company building the house. Thankfully, he was very happy with the product that was being built and any confusion was smoothed over.
Although this was a very positive experience in many ways and a great adventure, if anyone has this opportunity arise in the future to contract building through another builder, I would suggest that no middle man is involved. Have direct contact with the architect and homeowner at all phases of the project so that there is no miscommunication about any aspects of the building. The other builder should simply receive a “finder’s fee” for the project and leave the project execution to the actual builder. The homeowner was great, he loved his home and was very generous during our stay in Maine but the execution of the original contract could have been handled better.